2008.06.13 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Forty High School Students Taking Part in Summer Scholars Program
Omaha - Omaha Benson High School's Michael Perez is considering a career in international business. Omaha Central High School’s Judy Rosas looks forward to working in occupational therapy. Papillion-LaVista High School’s John De Los Reyes would like to be a game designer.
The three, along with 37 other high school seniors from the Omaha metropolitan area, are getting an idea of what it will take to achieve their goals through a unique five-week program that started June 8 at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).
The Summer Scholars Program at UNO was established in 1989 as a way to unite high school students from various backgrounds and encourage them to pursue higher education, said James Freeman, director of the UNO Office of Multicultural Affairs. The scholarship covers the cost of three credit hours of college tuition plus student fees, books and a parking permit. Additionally, it pays for a one-week residential experience at Scott Residence Hall near the University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute.
The 2008 participants represent Bellevue East, Benson, Bryan, Burke, Central, Marian, North, Northwest, Papillion-LaVista, Roncalli Catholic, South, and Westside high schools. They are highly motivated scholastic achievers with a collective cumulative grade point average of 3.43, Freeman said. During the five weeks, the students will enroll in college courses, which could include history, English, Native American studies, philosophy or sociology. In conjunction with the course content, the Summer Scholars learn about managing college academic course work, time management, the college admissions process, preparation for the ACT and SAT, and college scholarships and the financial aid process.
They also interact with university faculty and staff, explore career options and participate in a service-learning component.
“By participating in service learning, students give back to the community and gain an appreciation for the University’s investment,” Freeman said.
The career shadowing time, he added, will also get them out into the city. The time spent at area businesses and organizations will expose the students to the job areas they are interested in and let them begin to network with professionals.
The program's collaborating agencies this summer are Boys and Girls Club and Girls, Inc.
"Creating opportunities for the Summer Scholars to develop networking skills and mentoring relationships builds a foundation for their future success," said Maria Garza, the program coordinator. "What they experience today is a direct reflection of who they will be tomorrow."
The program will conclude with a recognition banquet in July. Students who will be high school juniors this fall and are interested in participating in the 2009 Summer Scholars program at UNO should contact their high school counselor or the UNO Office of Multicultural Affairs at (402) 554-2248.
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UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.
UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.
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